SB 249 was introduced by Representative Joe Aresimowicz and State Senator Martin Looney in February 2014. Key provisions of the bill were incorporated and enacted as part of the FY2015 budget bill Public Act 14-217 (see Sections 180-185 for details).
The legislation created the Connecticut Retirement Security Board to conduct a market feasibility study and implementation plan for a public retirement plan for certain private-sector employees. $400,000 was appropriated to support the board’s work. The board shall submit a status report by May 1, 2015 and a final report of its findings by January 1, 2016. With the findings from the final report, the board shall submit a comprehensive proposal by April 1, 2016.
The board has been established and has been meeting monthly since August 2014 and the meeting agenda, minutes and presentations can be found online.
The CRSB transmitted its Market Feasibility Study Report to the State Legislature as required by January 1, 2016. The report includes the CRSB’s recommendations related to program account structure, governance and enforcement, program model and financial feasibility.
The Board held a meeting on January 6, 2016 and heard presentations from Josh Gotbaum, Brookings Institution on ERISA MEP plans and from Prudential regarding MEP plans. ACLI submitted a letter to the Board expressing its opinion about the recent Proposed Rule and Bulletin issued by the U.S. Department of Labor.
The Board held a meeting on February 4, 2016 with a presentation from its legal team regarding its draft legislation. On February 9, 2016, the Board hosted a legislative briefing, where it heard presentations from Boston College and Mercer.
The Board held a special meeting on February 11, 2016 to review and approve its proposed legislative language.
On February 25, 2016, the Board submitted an implementation plan in the form of a legislation that would establish a state-run retirement savings program for private-sector employees in Connecticut. The plan would create a new quasi-public entity responsible for implementing the program through contracts with private-sector providers. Among other things the legislation provides that
- The entity can delay the implementation date for particular categories of employers as it deems necessary
- The entity would be subject to significant transparency provisions
- The entity would have educational, outreach and administrative oversight, but no enforcement powers, with employers’ compliance would be enforceable either through a private right of action or by the state Labor Commissioner
- The entity would be governed by a board with defined fiduciary responsibilities replicating the duties under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974
- There will be additional safeguards to ensure the timely and safely transmissions of contributions to the program
See the press release from the Comptroller’s office here.
The Board had a meeting on April 6, 2016, where board members heard updates on proposed legislation H.B. 5591, and reviewed the financial report. Last updated 4/8/2016.
2016 Legislative Session Dates: February 3, 2016 – May 4, 2016
Visit the official website for the Connecticut State Legislature.
Source: Georgetown University’s Center for Retirement Initiatives